Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency

Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency

Because we don’t get enough sunshine on our skin, most of us are vitamin D deficient, especially in winter and spring each year.

In fact, thanks to our modern lifestyle, it is very easy to be vitamin D deficient right through the year. Does it matter? Yes, because…

Chronic vitamin D deficiency is linked to greatly increased risk for

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • immune disorders

– and over 50 other diseases.

Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy may affect the development of the unborn child. Low vitamin D levels in infants and children may affect their mental and physical development.

In adults, many degenerative conditions and disease processes are strongly associated with inadequate vitamin D levels.

But proof of causality remains elusive, because clinical trials have not always been able to demonstrate that vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of specific diseases.

Part of the reason for this may be that many clinical trials are performed on populations that are not vitamin D deficient in the first place. Therefore little or no benefit would be expected when supplementing additional vitamin D.

But it does appear that with adequate vitamin D levels, the risk of many diseases can be greatly reduced. 

A population-based research study into vitamin D levels and the risk of mortality, published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (June 2018) confirms that mortality rates (from all causes) are higher in vitamin-D-deficient white people, compared with white people with adequate or high levels of vitamin D. Results for non-white people were less conclusive in this study.

It is not just a question of reducing mortality from some of the biggest killers of our time. Many other conditions are also associated with  vitamin D deficiency.

Here are some of them:

Acne, Adrenal insufficiency, Allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, Arthritis, Asthma, Autism, Autoimmune disorders, Bacterial infections, Bones weak (easy to fracture), Breast cancer, Cancer (all types), Celiac disease, Colds and ‘flu, Crohn’s disease, Chronic fatigue, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Chronic pain, Colonic adenoma, Colorectal cancer, Cystic fibrosis, Dementia, Dental cavities and misaligned teeth, Depression, Diabetes (types 1 and 2), Eczema, Fatigue, Gluten intolerance, Graves disease, Hearing Loss, Heart disease, Hypertension, Infertility, Influenza, Insomnia, Kidney Disease, Low back pain, Lupus erythematosis, Macular Degeneration, Melanoma, Mental illness and mood disorders, Migraine, Myopia, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscle weakness and pain, Obesity, Osteo-arthritis, Osteomalacia (softening of bones), Osteoporosis, Ovarian cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Periodontal disease, Peripheral artery disease, Pelvic floor disorders, Pneumonia, Post-operative infections, Pre-eclampsia,  Psoriasis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rickets, Schizophrenia, Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), Seizures, Sepsis, Sports injuries, Tuberculosis, Urinary incontinence, Uterine fibroids, Viral infections.

Impressive as it is, this list is not complete. Ill-effects from vitamin D deficiency are still being found, almost everywhere researchers look.

Vitamin D deficiency may exacerbate just about every degenerative condition that affects us, even perhaps, the ageing process itself.

One study on the effects of vitamin D deficiency in over 3000 older people (average age 62) found that people with low vitamin D levels were twice as likely to die over the next 8 years as those with higher levels.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Harald Dobnig of the Medical University of Graz in Austria, said the results don’t prove that low levels of vitamin D are harmful “but the evidence is just becoming overwhelming at this point.”

Does vitamin D deficiency cause these conditions?

An association with vitamin D deficiency does not prove that a condition is caused by vitamin D deficiency.

Most of the conditions in this list have many causes, but vitamin D deficiency may be one of them. In these cases, taking vitamin D may help to prevent the condition, or at least give some protection.

But if you already have one or more of these conditions, or know someone who has, checking for a vitamin D deficiency makes a lot of sense. If deficient, taking an effective dose of vitamin D may help.  So discuss this with your doctor.

Well-informed healthcare professionals are testing their patients for vitamin D deficiency – and restoring optimum vitamin D levels – as an important part of their management of all these conditions.

Restoring Optimum Vitamin D

Also see

Vitamin D Deficiency Causes

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment

Vitamin D Sources